Moving from Las Vegas to Seattle is a big change that you need to take time to consider. The two cities are very different, and you will need to be prepared for the change.
Most people consider moving from Las Vegas to Seattle when they’re looking for a new job or trying to escape the heat of the desert. Seattle’s population is also now on the rise as more people move here for jobs and opportunities.
But before you pack up your bags and head north, let’s take a closer look at some of the things that make Seattle great…and not so great. This article will explore the pros and cons of moving from Las Vegas to Seattle so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this is right for you.
Pros of Moving from Las Vegas to Seattle
If you’re considering moving from Las Vegas to Seattle, here are the top 6 reasons why you should consider it.
- A Beautiful Nature Scene
Seattle is often called the greenest city in the U.S., a big plus for those who love nature. The city has more than 485 parks within city limits, including beachfront walking paths and forests. Seattle also has many hiking trails and mountain biking areas, and it’s easy to find one that’s perfect for you.
The city’s tree canopy covers about 28% of Seattle’s total area, and the majority of the city is within walking distance of at least one park. This makes for a very eco-friendly environment where you can enjoy your walks and runs without worrying about air pollution or noise pollution.
There are also lots of mountains everywhere in Seattle, so there’s a lot of hiking and skiing you can do if you’re into that kind of thing. And if you want sunnier weather, just drive about two hours east to Yakima or Ellensburg.
- Booming Job Market
As far as job outlook is concerned, Seattle is a better place to live than Las Vegas. Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, with an estimated population of 741,251 in 2020. The city has been ranked among the top cities for young professionals in 2021 by KOMO News and CNBC.
Seattle also has a good claim on being the Next Silicon Valley, with many tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft headquartered there. Among established tech hubs, the city has established itself as a superstar city. It’s also home to several startups that have become household names — including Zillow, Redfin, and Tableau Software.
During the pandemic, many tech firms expanded their presence in Seattle, drawn by a large talent pool and a steady stream of graduates from local colleges. Seattle currently has unemployment rate of 4.8% compared to Las Vegas’ 8.9%. This means you’ll have more opportunities to find a job that fits your skills and interests.
- Better Public Transportation
The public transportation system in Seattle is more advanced than in Las Vegas. Las Vegas’ metro system has only about 31 bus lines. Meanwhile, Seattle has 220 bus lines, four light rail lines, and three ferry lines and is a super walkable city.
Most people in Seattle don’t even need a car because they can use public transportation instead. This is especially true if you live downtown or in one of the many neighborhoods serviced by bus lines. Seattle also has a bike share program where you can rent bikes at kiosks all over the city.
- Foodie Destination
Seattle is one of the best cities for foodies. The variety and quality of restaurants are incredible, and there are so many different options within every budget. You can find anything from cheap fast food to five-star dining, all within walking distance of each other (and sometimes they’re right next door).
Seattle is also a seafood lover’s paradise, whether dining on crab legs or grilled salmon. If you love seafood, there are many options for fresh seafood like crab, mussels, oysters, and salmon. The city also has an abundance of farmer’s markets where you can buy fresh produce directly from local farmers, making it easier than ever to eat organic fruits and vegetables.
- Outdoor Attractions
There are tons of outdoor activities available in Seattle year-round. So whether you like hiking in the mountains or kayaking on Elliott Bay, there are plenty of things to do outside.
Seattle is surrounded by water, and it has two major mountain ranges in the background. You can get out and explore nature on foot or bike or take advantage of all the opportunities for year-round recreation.
Seattle is also home to some of the best parks in the country, including Discovery Park—the largest park in Seattle—and Seward Park. These parks are great for hiking and running, and they offer stunning views of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges.
- Better Schools
Seattle has much better schools than Las Vegas, especially for private schools or public schools with excellent reputations. Seattle has 102 high schools recognized in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings, while Las Vegas only has 49.
Seattle also has some of the best universities in the country, and it’s a great place if you are moving here for higher education. The University of Washington has been ranked 29th in the world by Times Higher Education for 2022, maintaining its position as the fourth-best public university in the United States.
Cons of Moving from Las Vegas to Seattle
Seattle is a great place to live, but there are some downsides. Here are some major cons that you’ll have to consider if you decide to move there.
- Higher Cost of Living
If you’re moving from Las Vegas to Seattle, you’re going to have to deal with a higher cost of living. The average price of a 2-bedroom apartment in Las Vegas is $1,176 per month, while it’s $2,724 in Seattle. That’s a difference of $1,548 or a 131.6% increase per month.
According to NerdWallet, transportation costs (22%), food costs (36%), entertainment (45%), and healthcare (28%) are all higher in Seattle than they are in Las Vegas.
- Expensive Housing
Seattle’s housing prices have been going up for years now, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to spend almost seven figures on a single-family home—even more if they want something close to downtown Seattle or near other major employment centers like Bellevue or Redmond.
According to NerdWallet, the median home price for a 3BR, 2BA house in Las Vegas is $441,771, while it’s $826,200 in Seattle (which means you’d pay about 87% more for the same home).
A lot of people get surprised by how expensive housing can be. If you don’t already have a place lined up, look into getting pre-approved for a loan so that when you start looking around, you can move quickly on anything that feels right.
- Gray Weather
Seattle is known for its gray and dreary weather. The city is also known for its rain, and it does get a lot of it. If you’re looking for the same amount of sunshine as Las Vegas, Seattle may not be the best place to live.
The sun doesn’t come out much during the winter months, and frequent rain showers are common even into spring and summer. This makes it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or biking when the weather isn’t ideal.
- No More 24/7 Convenience
Another downside to moving from Las Vegas to Seattle is that it’s not as easy to find things open late and on weekends. You might be disappointed with Seattle’s offerings if you’re used to 24/7 convenience and service.
In Las Vegas, there is 24/7 convenience in terms of dining, shopping, and transportation. You don’t have to worry about finding a grocery store or restaurant that stays open late because plenty of them are around the clock. Seattle, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many 24/7 spots.
- High Homelessness Rate
Seattle is currently experiencing a homelessness problem due to rising housing prices and an influx of new residents. Much of the city’s population comprises renters and young people, which means that housing prices are sky-high.
Many people who live in Seattle can’t afford to pay rent and have nowhere else to go—so they end up on the streets. It’s not uncommon to see homeless people sleeping outside or panhandling around downtown areas at night. If this is something that concerns you, you might want to reconsider moving here.
- Bad Traffic
Think again if you’re moving here expecting wide open roads and no traffic jams. Seattle traffic is notorious for being bad on both highways and city streets.
It doesn’t matter what time of day or how long it’s been since you last drove through town. You probably won’t find much relief from the congestion unless you live in the suburbs or get out of town altogether.
So, should you be moving from Las Vegas to Seattle? It all depends on what you want. Seattle and Las Vegas are both great cities. They each have unique qualities and charm, and it’s tough to say which one is better without taking into account what you’re looking for in a city.
If you want to keep a cheaper cost of living with a hotter climate, then Las Vegas is your place. But if you’re looking for a more relaxed environment with lush greenery and more outdoor options, then Seattle might be your style.